My Boyfriend & I Moved During Coronavirus—And It Wasn’t the Nightmare You’d Expect

moving during coronavirus cat

When my boyfriend and I first started looking for a house to rent in mid-February, our biggest concern was being able to find a space that was bigger than our current apartment, that also had ample privacy. See, at the time, the first few cases of Coronavirus had only just been reported in the US and a full-on lockdown seemed like an unlikely nightmare. After just a few weeks of house hunting, we fell in love with a three-bedroom, two-bathroom space that was mostly hidden from the neighbors and was a huge improvement in terms of square-footage. We instantly applied and, less than a week later, were approved for a late March move-in. Throughout that process, COVID-19 was quickly spreading throughout the US and conditions were changing by the hour. Los Angeles County had already declared a local and public emergency on March 4, but even though social restrictions had yet to be put in place, we were on high alert. Turns out, we weren’t alone.

Our hometown had erupted into chaos in what seemed like a quick snap, and we became increasingly worried about the status of our move. Hell, my boyfriend went to pick up a couple weeks’ worth of groceries and spent over seven hours between Ralph's and Costco. And when we went to sign all of the necessary paperwork, the office manager used a Clorox wipe to scrub down the pens before he handed them over to us for our signatures. He did the same to the keys to our new home.

Between the day we were approved and the day we moved in, my boyfriend and I started social distancing, mostly in an attempt to begin packing up our things and also because our work events, meetings, and gigs were being canceled (I'm a freelance writer and he's a drummer). Then, what seemed like the worst possible scenario happened: The state of California issued the "safer at home" policy on March 19, just 24 hours before we were scheduled to move into our place. We were panicked, to say the least.

Luckily, we also had a three-week overlap period between the leases on the apartment and the new house, so we were able to start moving at our own pace. Small things like chairs and boxes of books were carted over in our small SUV in the days leading up to the official move date, but we knew that bigger pieces like our bed, fridge, dressers and work desks could not fit in our car. 

Hiring movers felt completely out of the question because we didn't want to be in close quarters with strangers for an entire day. Let alone, having them touch all of our belongings! So we asked four of our friends to help us load and unload all the big stuff in a U-Haul. We confirmed that they had all been social distancing for the requisite 14-days and we kept heavy-duty cleaning supplies on hand, to sanitize everything both before and after anyone touched them. While some of our precautions may have seemed a bit extreme, we felt that it was necessary given the circumstances of the move. Of course, our friends were totally understanding, and they were a giant help; we honestly couldn't have made the move without them. 

We were able to realize a few other silver linings during this unprecedented craziness. Like how the streets were completely empty because most people are currently working from home, which means that normal LA traffic wasn't an issue (finding a parking spot for the U-Haul, however, is another story). And we've slowly been stocking up on furnishings we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford because tons of stores are having huge online sales. Yes, I’ve done some serious damage at both Bed Bath & Beyond and Wayfair, not going to lie.

We're also huge Facebook Marketplace shoppers—we've found some truly one-of-a-kind pieces on there. And since people are home and bored, they're redecorating and cleaning out, so the options are plentiful. Don't worry: We're asking sellers to sanitize the pieces, we only participate in socially distant pickups (they leave the dressers on their porches or bring the chairs six feet away from their houses), we exchange money via apps, so that no one has to touch cash and we wipe down each piece before we bring it into our place. 

And the best part? We have so much time to unpack. If we’d made this move during "normal" times, we would have been preoccupied with work and it might have taken us months to get everything out of boxes and to get shelves hung. But in less than two weeks since we made the move, we’re already onto the finishing touches of the unpacking process. Not to brag, but I'm slowly setting up the home office and beauty closet of my dreams, I completely refurbished and painted a bookcase and I’ve even found time to paint my own canvases to hang on a gallery wall. My boyfriend is starting to build soundproofing panels so he can practice drums in our shed and he’s set up some open shelves for our kitchen. Each project we take on helps us feel more settled in and cozy, while the world around us is more or less in shambles.

Though we don't know how long this period of social distancing will last, we honestly don't think that this move could have come at a better time. With so much more space (including an outdoor patio and in-unit laundry, thank god!) and so many new projects for us to tackle, we're unbelievably happy to be in our new home. We definitely hope that Coronavirus passes soon, but for now, we're loving the isolation and quality time with each other and feel fortunate that we have the time to truly get settled into our new home. 

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